On a recent bike ride, I ran into two trees girls manning a lemonade stand. I pulled over for a sample and to shoot the breeze with them:
Hey, girls, is this business under the table because so help me God if it is I’m reporting you to Revenue Canada.”
I’ll give you a buck for an iced Venti chai latte.
You got somethin’ a little stronger back there? Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.
Despite my friendliness and magnetic personality, I received nothing but blank stares. Weirdos.
As I biked away after they called 911 on me, I got to thinking: I could use some extra money myself. Why should those shrewd business kids corner the market? But two lemonade stands on one street seemed foolhardy. The harder I pedalled (I could hear the sirens. Suck it.) the harder I mentally tweaked my business plan to give the people what they wanted. I knew what I wanted in the middle of a hot afternoon but would it sell?? There was only one way to find out and so I got to work setting up my Mojito stand.
I strived for professionalism but I only had five minutes (It was already 25 degrees and I was the people were thirsty). Here’s what my marketing department/I came up with:
MOHJITOS 4 SALE: LIMIT- 5 (ish) PER CUSTOMER
Advertising was next. How would I let the people know I was selling rum-laced drinks in my driveway? I started with Twitter: Ramp up ur mojo with a mojito! Mix it and they will come. Cash only @145 Hills Rd #thirsty?
This was foolproof obviously. I gathered my ingredients and set to work mixing it so they would indeed come. Ever the perfectionist, I had to ensure my concoction was worthy of 10 15 bucks a pop so I felt it my civic duty to taste-test. The first batch was pure rum (YOU try mixing 4 ingredients on a hot day and see if YOU forget a thing or two! Judge someone who cares…) I hired quality assurance/my husband to make sure this didn’t happen again. He oversaw the next batch and his input was invaluable.
He said, “I think you need to re-think this whole thing.”
I responded, “I think I need to re-think your position in this company.”
Next, I found the perfect faux wood table (Way better than the stupid multi-coloured, flower-laden number the lemonade divas used. Grow up!) and a totally hip lime green lawn chair and Bam! I was open for business.
I was shaky with nerves as I poured the first official drink of my first official business. Yes!!
BUSINESS HOURS: RIGHT. FRIGGIN’. NOW. PLEASE FORM A SINGLE LINE!
Hello neighbour! Please come back. I’m selling alcohol in my driveway. It’s a very good thing! Pfft. Be that way.
It’s just a lull. I’m not worried. I’ll just pour myself another while I wait for the inevitable crowds.
Can’t hurt to cut the people a deal I guess. Been out here for over an hour now. Hmmph.
Where the F@#% IS everybody??
Ish it jusht me or ish it hot outshide tooday?
Oooh! Big tough cop checking to shee if I have a ‘permit’ to shell driveway alcohol. Show me where it shays I can’t. Oh…right there. Okie dokey, oshifer!
Dear Neighboursh: I hope you die of thirsht. Literally.
I woke up the next day with a wicked headache and dry heaves, along with a better attitude. I think I figured out why my mojitos didn’t sell. The price point was bang on, I was super approachable, and the drinks were perfect but in the end what killed me was I hadn’t stood out from other driveway vendors. I needed a gimmick and as I was bent over the toilet bowl it came to me: I would add a karaoke machine next time! Duh. People automatically want to belt it into a mic after a mojito or two. Heck, I’d even sing duets with the people if they beg! In-friggin-genius.
I’m very confident my new slogan will bring them in:
Obviously, I do business planning in my off hours. Inbox me if you need suggestions on how to refresh a sagging business. I’m all over it. Don’t be jealous. I bet you have special gifts too.